DiGiulian goes beyond the rocks and onto the ice

Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team

Sasha DiGiulian leads the Bridal Veil climb the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA, on 18 January, 2018. –
Photographer Credit:
Andy Mann / Red Bull Content Pool

World champion rock climber teams up with adventurer to tackle ice climbs in Lake Superior.

Sasha DiGiulian is no stranger to a brutal challenge and, for a three-part series, has swapped her rock climbing gear for her ice tools. The American teamed up with adventurer Angela VanWiemeersch to tackle the below-zero temperatures of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, aka the UP. Here is all you need to know:

– In January DiGiulian and VanWiemeersch teamed up to climb some of Michigan’s most challenging ice ascents. The humid yet cold weather harbors perfect conditions for climbable ice.

– Superior Ice plots the pair’s two-week challenge ascending some of the hardest and tallest ice climbs in the UP at Pictured Rocks National Shoreline and Grand Island.

– Lake Superior boasts 60-metre-tall ice climbs needing an airboat, snowmobiles and snowshoes to access.

– DiGiulian learned how to use and negotiate ice tools in just two weeks back in 2015. In 2012 she also became the first American woman to climb a grade 9a, and in 2017 she was the first female up the 700-metre Mora Mora in Madagascar.

– A rock climbing emoji has been designed on her likeness.

– DiGiulian described her co-climber as “totally inspiring”. She added: “Seeing her conquer daunting ice faces with confidence and bravado made me believe that I could become capable too. I have always believed empowered women empower other women. Working together, we can obliterate boundaries. I want to be the most well rounded, capable athlete that I can be. In doing so, I hope that women of all ages can see my trips and say, I can too.”

Angela Van Wiemeersch shakes out while leading the AGF climb on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA, on 18 January, 2018. –
Photographer Credit:
Andy Mann / Red Bull Content Pool

– Of the duo’s voyage, VanWiemeersch, from Michigan, said: “I think there is a stigma associated with ice climbing that it’s dangerous, you can’t fall, all of which is true but I think it deters some ladies. Luckily, I see this stigma losing steam. Ice climbing is enchanting, beautiful and engaging. As more women try ice climbing, I see this shift in their perception.”

– VanWiemeersch was a competitive ice skater but traded the skates for crampons to tackle the ice climbs of what is effectively her wider neighbourhood.

Watch episode one of the three-part series & stay tuned for the next episode:


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